In a lot of civil cases, settling the matter is pretty straightforward. The parties will work out mutually agreeable terms, someone will prepare a written settlement agreement, and barring exceptional circumstances, the court will accept the settlement and dismiss the case. FLSA cases — and settlements — are a bit different and somewhat more complicated. There is a wider array of situations where, even if the parties have genuinely agreed, the court may reject a settlement. Working with a knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour lawyer can enhance your odds of avoiding this kind of money and time-consuming situation.
When parties to a FLSA case filed in a federal court in Georgia, Florida, or Alabama seek to settle, they must comply with what the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the 1982 case of Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. United States. The Lynn’s Food ruling says that any acceptable settlement must be a “fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute over FLSA issues.”
One example of a settlement executed correctly comes from the federal court in Orlando, Florida. The employee was a handyman who worked for a local social services organization for two years and two months. During that time, the handyman allegedly worked more than 40 hours a week on several occasions. Despite this, the employer never paid him overtime compensation, according to his complaint.